• Is This TV's Worst Show?
    It's possible to come upon a show you find so appalling, you might wonder if you have stumbled upon the "worst" show on TV. Consider "Little Women: LA," which started its second season on Lifetime earlier this month. It's an "unscripted" show about six dwarves -- all women -- who live in Los Angeles. When it comes to reality television, little people -- specifically, the six little women on this show -- are as desperate for attention as any other ensemble of reality-show participants -- and they will do or say almost anything to get it.
  • Fox's 'Backstrom' Is Gruff, But Not Yet Lovable
    In his new series, "Backstrom," Rainn Wilson smokes a cigar like a guy who has seen too many old movies with guys smoking cigars. The title character he plays on this new, gloomy cop show -- Everett Backstrom, a detective on the Portland, Ore. police force -- is recalcitrant, stubborn and grouchy. He is pot-bellied and unshaven. He's a scowler who snaps at co-workers, complains when he eats broccoli, and makes derogatory comments about ethnic groups.
  • Small-Market TV News Gets Reality-Show Treatment On TruTV
    When Fox reality series "Anchorwoman" came to the air in 2007, the negative reaction was so strong that it was easy to conclude that you wouldn't be seeing more reality shows about local TV news any time soon. Eight years after the cancellation of "Anchorwoman" -- mere hours after its low-rated premiere -- the new reality series "Breaking Greenville," about life in the local-TV news biz, will premiere on TruTV on Jan. 29. "Breaking Greenville" showcases two rival TV stations serving Greenwood-Greenville, Miss. -- the 190th-ranked DMA out of 210 with 65,200 TV households, according to Nielsen.
  • How'd He Do? Larry Wilmore Joins The Late-Night Club
    Maybe they should have kept the "Minority Report" title, because the new "Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore" on Comedy Central looks to be shaping up as a nightly discourse on race relations. It's not easy to balance so-called "serious" issues with comedy, but when a show is successful at this balancing act, it becomes, well, "The Colbert Report" or "The Daily Show." "The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore" -- which was called "The Minority Report" when it was first announced -- is the replacement for "Colbert," but in its premiere last night, it was hardly up to the "Colbert" standard.
  • Never Boring FX Justifies Its Reputation As TV's Best Network
    For the past 12 years or so, FX has produced one iconic, groundbreaking show after another, breaking all kinds of barriers and taboos for advertiser-supported TV shows -- language, nudity, sex, violence -- you name it. It hasn't always been pretty, and it hasn't always been appropriate. Yet FX has accomplished something that not too long ago would have been unthinkable -- successfully selling spots within programs whose contents were once out of bounds. FX airs shows that are often as challenging (if not extreme) in their contents as pay-cable HBO shows -- but remains a basic-cable network with commercials.
  • Fox Grows Its 'Empire' With Questionable Content
    Here's what a TV show has to do these days to draw attention to itself: Insult people. Either because of or despite this strategy, Fox's new drama "Empire" is a hit. After two episodes, the show has achieved something rare for new network TV shows, particularly on Fox: It grew its ratings from Week One to Week Two. From a ratings standpoint, the show is a victory for Fox, which has sorely needed one.
  • 'Girls' Talk: HBO Comedy Series Takes Young Adulthood Seriously
    "Girls" started its fourth season last Sunday on HBO, which loves this show so much that it has already said yes to a fifth season. "Girls" has struck a chord in the places where it matters -- among young women, certainly; on social media, where it is much-discussed (by young women); and in all other media such as Web sites, magazines and newspapers that want to reach young women.
  • Younger Generation Reacts To Amazon Woody Allen Hire: Who's He?
    Woody Allen is a curious choice for Amazon Prime. Amazon made the announcement on Tuesday: Allen is creating a series -- his first ever -- for Amazon Studios. It has no title, no cast, no premiere date. Nor were the number of episodes announced, although the announcement from Amazon said the show has been given a "full-season order," which these days could mean almost anything. The episodes will each be a half-hour, Amazon said. Allen will write and direct them.
  • First Look At 'Better Call Saul': It's 'Bad' To The Bone
    The first great TV show of the year commences on Feb. 8. Somehow, executive producers Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould have met the seemingly insurmountable challenge of producing a high-quality, razor-sharp spinoff from one of the most beloved and critically acclaimed TV series ever made -- "Breaking Bad." "Better Call Saul" manages to accomplish two things that would seem to be diametrically opposed -- to produce a show that retains many of the most attractive features of the show it springs from, while making a new show that somehow stands on its own at the same time. It's quite a ...
  • No Awards For Dull, Predictable Golden Globes On NBC
    For me, Hollywood's propensity for self-congratulation becomes more grating as I grow older. I like to go to movies and I watch a ton of television -- some for enjoyment and some not -- but the endless honorifics that Hollywood bestows on itself at this time of year is unseemly.
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